My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days
Publisher - Hodder
Pages - 435
Blurb from Goodreads
'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.' He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.' 15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.
'A wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate and often unbearably sad. The best British social novel since Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up!' The Times
I have to say I felt I was reading the wrong book going on how delighted people were and expressing how much they loved this book when they saw I was reading it. It opens in 1988, the 15th of July with Emma and Dexter, two very different people, brought together by attraction. He is a Lothario, she is a book type, into her education and passionate about the things that interest her. They couldn't be any more different, however, instead of sneaking out of her room and life they keep in touch over the years. The story spans over 20 years, always opening the next chapter on the same date, the 15th of July but in the next year and follows their progress. Dexter loves women, booze, sex, being the centre of attention and doing things that please Dexter. Emma has always loved Dexter and as their friendship grows, he has more ups and downs, becomes a celebrity, has a trail of girls, Emma is always loyal, sweet, funny and waiting in the corner to be there for him.
I did like the start of the tale, however as it went on I couldn't help but think why is she STILL waiting there for him. He treats her like a commodity, he loves her and needs to talk to her when the chips are down, otherwise it is Emma who? I suppose this is a good example of art imitating life as people do fall for and be incredibly loyal to people who treat them like that. I wanted her to tell him to grow up, have a back bone, realize she was worth more than always being second best. She had a few moments where I thought good on you but a lot of it was really irritating to read, in my opinion.
A lot focused on her mundane journey through life and the flip side was his journey of drugs, women, self pity, self importance and dramas really. I honestly felt something was missing, no idea what though, it just trawled through the years of them getting on with not an awful lot to be honest. Then near the last quarter things took quite a sudden turn, the book turned a bit on its head although even this wasn't enough to pique my interest, I just wanted it to be done by then. The other issue was the chapters jumping from year to year, there was things I would have liked to have seen played out or got more of a background on. It was dealt with in the next chapter by a brief explanation and then brought up to what that year was about. I didn't like this format, I know I am in a minority here as the book is loved by so many, including a lot of my friends. For me, I just didn't get the love for it, I didn't particularly like the characters and I won't be going to see the movie or hunting out the authors other works. Not to say I won't read him again, I just don't feel the need to delve into his writing again just yet, sadly a 2/5 for me this time. If you haven't read it though give it a go, you may find yourself in the thousands who loved it camp.